8 Refreshing Summer Drinks

Quick and easy martinis, margaritas, smoothies, and more beverages to cool you off on a hot day.

Fritz's Sonoran SunsetFritz's Sonoran Sunset
Fritz's Sonoran Sunset
Prickly pear syrup adds a sweet note to this cocktail's grapefruit and tequila mixture. If your local store doesn't carry prickly pear syrup, you can order it online or substitute grenadine.

Yield: Makes 1 serving


1/2 cup grapefruit juice
1 1/2 tablespoons tequila
1 tablespoon prickly pear syrup (available at www.juniperridge.com)

Fill an 8- to 12-ounce glass with ice cubes. Add grapefruit juice and tequila and stir. Drizzle with prickly pear syrup or substitute grenadine.

Note: Fritz Jandrey of Portal, AZ developed this cocktail to serve to guests in his garden sanctuary on summer evenings.

7 Margarita recipes

Nutritional Information
Amount per serving
Calories: 136
Calories from fat: 0.7%
Protein: 0.6g
Fat: 0.1g
Saturated fat: 0.0g
Carbohydrate: 19g
Fiber: 0.0g
Sodium: 1.2mg
Cholesterol: 0.0mg

St-Germain FizzySt-Germain Fizzy
St-Germain Fizzy
Here's our favorite excuse to sip St-Germain, a liqueur that's infused with freshly picked, fragrant white elderflowers and tastes of litchi and pear.

Yield: Serves 6 to 8

1 cup halved, thinly sliced strawberries
1 cup chopped apricots or peaches
1 cup chilled St-Germain liqueur
1 bottle chilled prosecco

Put strawberries, apricots, and liqueur in a pitcher. Pour in prosecco, stir gently, and pour into Champagne flutes.

Nutritional Information
Amount per serving
Calories: 184
Calories from fat: 0.7%
Protein: 0.4g
Fat: 0.1g
Saturated fat: 0.0g
Carbohydrate: 15g
Fiber: 0.8g
Sodium: 0.4mg
Cholesterol: 0.0mg

Green Gin CocktailGreen Gin Cocktail
Green Gin Cocktail
The juniper flavor that predominates in gin goes really well with the herbs and celery in this refreshing combo. To extract the most vivid color from the herb leaves, don't hold back when you muddle (bruise) them.

Yield: Serves 2

3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup water
1/4 cup parsley leaves
1/4 cup mint leaves
1/3 cup gin
2 tablespoons Celery Simple Syrup (See Preparation, below)
1 cup cold club soda
Small celery stalks and mint sprigs

First, make the Celery Simple Syrup: Stir together 3/4 cup sugar, 3/4 cup water, and 2 coarsely chopped celery stalks in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. When the first bubbles appear, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer gently 5 minutes. Let cool, then strain.

Using a wooden spoon or muddler, vigorously bruise parsley and mint leaves with gin in a cocktail shaker (or use a mortar and pestle, then scrape into shaker). Add simple syrup and strain into 2 small ice-filled glasses. Pour 1/2 cup club soda into each and stir. Garnish glasses with celery stalks and mint sprigs.

Nutritional Information
Amount per serving
Calories: 135
Calories from fat: 0.2%
Protein: 0.2g
Fat: 0.0g
Saturated fat: 0.0g
Carbohydrate: 9.8g
Fiber: 0.3g
Sodium: 28mg
Cholesterol: 0.0mg

Mint: it's not just for mojitos any more

Peachy Old-FashionedPeachy Old-Fashioned
Peachy Old-Fashioned
Using a wooden spoon, muddle 3 peeled peach wedges in a rocks glass with 1 tbsp. brown sugar, a splash of bitters, and ice until fruit is broken up. Pour in 1/4 cup rye and stir.

Watermelon DaiquiriWatermelon Daiquiri
Watermelon Daiquiri
A bright, summery, and not-too-sweet spin on the classic lime daiquiri, made with plenty of lime juice and only a touch of sugar.

Yield: Serves 2

2 cups chopped watermelon
6 tablespoons light rum
2 teaspoons sugar
1/4 cup lime juice
Pinch of lime zest
2 small watermelon slices

Purée watermelon in a food processor, then strain into a small bowl. Pour into a large ice-filled cocktail shaker and add rum, sugar, lime juice, and zest. Cover, shake, and strain into 2 small tumblers. Garnish with watermelon slices.

Celebrate summer fruit

Nutritional Information
Amount per serving
Calories: 188
Calories from fat: 1.4%
Protein: 1.2g
Fat: 0.3g
Saturated fat: 0.0g
Carbohydrate: 20g
Fiber: 0.9g
Sodium: 2.9mg
Cholesterol: 0.0mg

Blue Moon CocktailBlue Moon Cocktail
Blue Moon Cocktail
Blue moon cocktails are a fun, frozen martini featuring blue curaçao, vanilla syrup, and fresh orange juice. Whipping cream adds a hint of creamy texture to the drink.

Yield: 2 cups (serving size: 4 oz.)

1 cup crushed ice
1/4 cup vodka
1/4 cup blue curaçao
1/4 cup whipping cream
2 tablespoons vanilla-flavored syrup (such as Torani)
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
1 tablespoon Cointreau or other orange-flavored liqueur

In a blender, combine all ingredients and whirl until smooth. Pour into four martini glasses (4 oz.) and garnish the rim of each glass with a slice of orange.

Lime RickeyLime Rickey
Lime Rickey
Make a classic cocktail that's sure to cool you to your toes on a hot summer day.

Yield: Makes 6 to 8 servings

1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups gin
3/4 cup fresh lime juice
1 1/2 quarts chilled soda water
Thin slices of lime

In a 1-quart pan, mix sugar with 1/2 cup water and stir over low heat until sugar is dissolved, about 5 minutes. Let cool or chill. In a 3-quart pitcher, combine gin, lime juice, and the cooled syrup. Cover and freeze until ready to serve. To serve, add soda water. Pour into ice-filled glasses and garnish with lime.

Nutritional Information
Amount per serving
Calories: 182
Calories from fat: 0.0%
Protein: 0.1g
Fat: 0.0g
Saturated fat: 0.0g
Carbohydrate: 17g
Fiber: 0.0g
Sodium: 0.9mg
Cholesterol: 0.0mg

Grasshopper MilkshakeGrasshopper Milkshake
Grasshopper Milkshake
Cookies and ice cream in one luscious package--call it a drink or make it dessert!

Yield: Makes 2 1/2 cups; 1 to 2 servings

2 cups mint-chocolate chip ice cream
1/2 cup milk
2 tablespoons crème de menthe
1 miniature or broken cream filled chocolate sandwich cookie

In a blender, combine ice cream, milk, and crème de menthe. Whirl until smooth and pour into a chilled tall glass. Garnish with cookie.

Nutritional Information
Amount per serving
Calories: 445
Calories from fat: 42%
Protein: 8.3g
Fat: 21g
Saturated fat: 14g
Carbohydrate: 47g
Fiber: 0.2g
Sodium: 137mg
Cholesterol: 59mg

More on summer desserts

Now that you've got the drink menu nailed down, it's time to think about what to eat at your party. Also, is your yard ready for company? Read up on how to upgrade your backyard space for summer entertaining.